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Cannington Manor

Cannington Manor church, built 1885; photo taken September 1956.
Everett Baker (Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society)

Cannington Manor is located 26 km southeast of Moose Mountain Provincial Park. Captain Edward Michell Pierce, a failed English gentleman who came to Canada to revive his fortunes, established Cannington Manor in 1882. After building a log farmhouse to accommodate his wife and eight children, Pierce established an agricultural college in an effort to teach English gentlemen how to farm. The “pups,” as his pupils were known, came from the privileged classes in England where they had failed to live up to strict aristocratic expectations. For £100 a year, they were given room and board at Cannington Manor along with lessons in Farming. However, many of the wealthy English were not serious agriculturalists. Instead, they lived the leisurely life of country gentlemen, playing Tennis and cricket and participating in numerous social events.

When Pierce died on June 20, 1888, Cannington Manor had grown to include an Anglican church, a grist mill, the Mitre Hotel, blacksmith’s shop, sawmill, and general store. More than 200 people lived there by the mid-1890s, many of whom contributed to the cultural and recreational life of the community. Ultimately, however, the struggle to maintain the social customs of Victorian England on the Canadian prairie proved too much, and the village of Cannington Manor was abandoned by 1900. Today, original and reconstructed buildings at Cannington Manor Provincial Historic Park recreate this distinctive experiment in the development of western Canada.

Holden Stoffel

Print Entry

Further Reading

1965. Cannington Manor Historic Park: A Saskatchewan Historic Site. Regina: Saskatchewan Diamond Jubilee and Canada Centennial Corp.; Humphrys, Ruth. 1982. “Edward Michell Pierce: The Founder of Cannington Manor.” The Beaver 313 (2): 12–21.
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